Thursday, October 26, 2006

Goodbye Microsoft (or Not)

Today is my last day at Microsoft. I think.

Instead of vacation pay, the agency I work for gives a week's pay for every 1000 hours worked. At the end of today, I will have accrued 977 hours.

Yeah, that was my initial thought, too. But Microsoft is not a "cheap" company (oh no...), so I can't imagine this to be anything but sheer consequence. I appealed to my manager, asking for another couple days, but he'd already closed the requisition. So I appealed to the marketing manager (who has more evolved social skills than the average Microsoftie; he actually looks at you and displays facial expressions when he talks to you), for whom I've been conducting some market research lately. Turns out he'd like me to continue down the road I've been headed and will try to open a req of his own to keep me on for at least another week, though I'd work at home...

...which is FINE with me! ;-)

So instead of sleeping late, cooking lavish meals and starting my novel next week, it looks like I'll be plenty busy with employment-type work -- either doing it or trying to secure it.

I got a call yesterday from the HR manager of the casual games company I interviewed with on Monday. They want me to come back next Tuesday to meet the VP for what he ominously called "the final interview." (Now there's a test of innate optimism or pessimism!) I really loved what I heard about the Producer position there. It sounds perfect for me! And yeah, I would love to be back downtown again. I wouldn't presume to have a "window office" there, but if I did I'd look out from the top floors of a highrise onto the Space Needle, ferries crossing the Puget Sound, and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the distance. But the nature of the position is what's most appealing: designing the games (creativity!), overseeing the project (project management!) and working with developers in far-off lands (travel!). Sounds perfect.

But I've also had other interviews this week and more scheduled next week. Yesterday I talked to the HR manager at the local museum. They're looking for a Director of Educational Outreach. Obviously, I have no museum experience and that was an issue. I of course acknowledged that and told her that it might be difficult to find someone with museum experience, educational experience and media experience. I suggested that if she does find someone with all three, to NAB him/her, because that's likely quite a rarity. I do, however, have education and media experience, so if they decide to go that route, I might be a good fit. We'll see where that one goes...

Next Monday I have an interview with the handheld games company, the one who develops entertainment games around licensed characters. The nice thing about networking is that you get an insider view of companies where your connections have worked -- and the "warning" that comes with this one is "Caution! Micromanager!" If there's one thing that drives me nuts in my old age, it's a micromanager. I'm a firm believer in hiring the best people and then getting out of their way so they can do their best work. Sort of the "lead from behind with a flashlight" philosophy. I've worked long and hard to get where I am, and the last thing I need at work is someone breathing down my neck, "guiding my creativity." That kind of approach pretty much guarantees doom for all involved. So I'll keep my eyes and ears (and intuition) open when I talk with that CEO on Monday.

On Wednesday, I have an interview with the development director at the company I met at Startupalooza. I'm really looking forward to that one, partly because I'm so intrigued by their product and partly because I love everything I've read about their people and their approach to business. And really, those two things are what it ultimately all comes down to. And hey, working at Pioneer Square would just be fun! I love that place!

And if the req at Microsoft goes through, I'll be doing that work as well. So I guess I won't be sleeping late, cooking lavish meals and starting my novel next week after all. If I play my cards right, I can do that the week after, having solidified the right job to jump head-long into after I take some time to rejuvinate myself -- and to turn 50! And if I don't play my cards right or life just throws me that proverbial curve-ball, I'll still turn 50... and I'll have myself a pity-party.

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